Crispy panko catfish recipe minimizes kitchen work, maximizes flavor | Where NOLA eats

Crispy panko catfish recipe minimizes kitchen work, maximizes flavor |  Where NOLA eats

As summer turns up the heat, I have to look for new ways to get inspired for cooking a hot meal. One solution that has helped me overcome the “too hot to cook” problem is a trip to my local farmers market.

Fresh seasonal products inspire me to get creative in the kitchen. On a recent trip to the farmers market, I bought delicious tomatoes, sweet peaches, freshly caught catfish and a bouquet of summer flowers for the dinner table. I was able to meet and talk to local vendors selling fresh local fish, vegetables and fruits. Ingredients like these require little preparation or time in a hot oven to make a memorable and tasty meal.

When I got home, I took stock of what I already had and decided to panko-crusted the catfish fillets and serve it with a fresh peach salsa and cilantro-lime rice.

I keep panko, a Japanese form of breadcrumbs, in the pantry because it gives a delicious crispy crust to fish and chicken. This method of cooking fish is a healthy alternative to frying. Panko-crusted catfish require very little time near a hot oven; you just need a small amount of oil in a skillet to brown the fish, which then cooks in a warm oven while you make the rest of the meal. The peach salsa adds flavors that are bright, tangy and refreshing on the palate.

Any whitefish fillet can be substituted for the catfish. Try tilapia, cod, or halibut. If you don’t like fish, substitute the chicken cutlets. Also, the peach salsa recipe can be modified by omitting the tomatoes. I know that cilantro is an ingredient that some people love and others avoid. If you are not a fan of coriander, no problem! Substitute flat-leaf parsley or Thai basil.

I made these recipes for a family meal with my husband and two teenagers. I put the bouquet of fresh flowers I bought at the farmers’ market on the dining table. The bright summer flowers made the meal special. In fact, we enjoyed this meal so much that the following week my daughter and I went back to the market in search of the same ingredients and remade it.

Crispy Panko Fish

Makes 4 servings

4 fillets of white fish without skin, such as catfish, cod or tilapia

1 cup all-purpose flour

3 eggs beaten

2 cups panko breadcrumbs

2 teaspoons salt

Cracked black pepper

½ cup canola oil

1. Place the flour, beaten eggs and panko in three separate bowls.

2. Prepare a large baking tray with a piece of aluminum foil or parchment paper.

3. Place the fish fillets in the flour, shake off excess flour. Then transfer the fish to the eggs and coat them well. Place the fish fillet in the panko and press the breadcrumbs into the fillet to get a good crust. Place each of the panko-coated fish fillets on a plate.

5. Pour canola oil into a skillet and heat oil over medium/high heat. When the oil is hot, carefully add one of the fish fillets to the hot oil with a pair of cooking tongs.

7. Fry each fish fillet in the oil until golden brown on both sides, about 3 minutes per side, then place the fillets on the prepared baking sheet. Add salt and pepper to the fillets.

8. Turn the oven to low, about 200 degrees F. Place the dish of fish in the oven to keep warm while you prepare the rest of the meal.

Peach Salsa

Makes 4 servings.

5 peaches, sliced ​​and diced

3 tomatoes, diced

2 shallots, or of a small red onion

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½ cup chopped spring onions

½ cup finely chopped cilantro (add more or less to taste)

1/2 jalapeño chopped seeds removed (or for spicy salsa, add the whole jalapeño)

2 cloves garlic very finely chopped

2 limes grated and squeezed (reserve the lime zest to add to cilantro-lime rice)

1-2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon salt

Black pepper

In a large bowl, add the peaches, tomatoes, shallot, onion, scallions, chopped cilantro, chopped jalapeño, and chopped garlic to the bowl.

Squeeze the lime juice over the salsa and add salt and pepper to taste.

Add the extra virgin olive oil and gently stir the mixture.

Refrigerate the salsa until serving.

Coriander Lime Rice

Makes 4 servings.

1 ½ cups basmati rice, or other long-grain white rice, rinsed and drained

3 cups of water

3 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

1 small clove of garlic minced

Finely grated zest of 2 limes

½ cup chopped coriander leaves

½ cup roasted pumpkin seeds

1 teaspoon salt

A pinch of red pepper flakes, optional

Combine the rice, water and a pinch of salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and reduce heat. Simmer for about 20 minutes, or until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender.

Remove the rice and fluff with a fork, then add the garlic, lime zest, coriander, pumpkin seeds, salt and red pepper flakes and mix into the rice.

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